The Murders at Fleet House

The Murders at Fleet House

I was really sad to hear that Lucinda Riley had died last year, having enjoyed many of her books. She always writes perfect holiday reading and so I picked up the The Murders at Fleet House at the airport, posthumously published (see also my blogs on Lucinda Riley).

Inside is a lovely foreword by her son, which explains that she wrote it in 2006 and that her family had decided to publish it without a substantial re-write. He also notes that in another life this could have been the start of an enjoyable detective series with Jazz Hunter as its protagonist (she even lives on the edge of the Norfolk salt marshes, like Ruth Galloway in the Elly Griffiths series).

It tells the story of some evil goings-on around a boarding school, where a bully is found dead. There’s a traumatised young boy trying to deal with the aftermath and an alcoholic father desperate to protect him at any cost. Meanwhile his social-climbing ex-wife has shacked-up with a controlling and nasty London lawyer. Another body then turns up, the headmaster starts to panic about the future of the school and it looks possible that the present-day murders are somehow connected to the suicide of a schoolboy in the 1970s.

Jazz deals with all of this with intelligence and grace, despite her very ill father and her extremely overbearing ex-husband turning up. Thanks to him she’s left with only twenty-four hours to sort out the mess he has got the case into, but she of course manages it in the nick of time.

All in all, a very enjoyable read.